Hard work is a part of life, whether it's balanced or not

"WORK-LIFE balance is a recent, predominantly middle-class construct based on the amounts of time we spend at work and at home."

These words are not mine. They were written by Kylie Lang, a featured columnist, magazine editor, youngish mother, feminist and general mover and shaker in Brissie.

She goes on to say something that I have wrestled with for many, many years and from time to time when it comes to motivating my staff, particularly Gen Y staff.

Big dollars lose their gloss as workers look for lifestyle balance

This populist mantra implies that if we don't clock off at 5pm we're out of kilter, and if we work nights and/or weekends we are "doomed to an unfulfilled existence".

My problem is that even some professionals who used to willingly sign up for long hours as part of a lifelong deal are showing signs of flagging, presumably in the quest for the mythical work-life balance.

Think of your local GP clinic. Individual doctors seem content with working public service hours these days - as do lawyers, accountants and any number of other assorted professionals.

Service during "office hours" Monday to Friday has pretty much become the norm.

They obviously believe these days in allocating their time to work on the one hand and "life" on the other.

They've swallowed the crap peddled by hip psychologists and life and business coaches that work and "life" are distinct from one another and contradictory.

Obviously it's crap because they both occupy a complementary part of the cycle of life - real life, not some mythical thing implying fuzzy warmth and good times.

Most of us here in Gladstone work long hours and weekends.

The challenge for us is to derive comfort, pleasure and a sense of achievement from life itself by concentrating our energy and undivided attention to what we're doing at any given point in our day, week, month, year.

There used to be an old saying: not everybody can be great, but be good at what you do.

If you want to see how our (hard) workers live a fulfilling existence by devoting time to their families and friends, take a peek at the Millennium Esplanade at Tannum Sands on a Sunday.


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